One out of three people in Vietnam, or 36 percent of the population of 90 million, now own a smartphone, nearly double last year’s figure, according to findings from a Google-backed online behavior study.
Vietnamese smartphone usagee rose from 20 percent in 2013 to 36 percent, Google said, citing findings from the Global Connected Consumer Study 2014 by market research firm TNS, part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.
The number is still lower than the global average of 49 percent, or the 40 percent recorded in Thailand, the market researcher said. Fifty-one percent of people in Malaysia have a smartphone, while the figure in Singapore is 85 percent, according to TNS.
Even so, the growth of smartphone use in Vietnam indicates that the hi-tech devices are increasingly preferred by Vietnamese consumers, the company commented.
The strongest growth in Vietnamese smartphone users was recorded among people from 16 to 24 years of age. While people in this age category only accounted for 27 percent of the total number of Vietnamese smartphone users last year, the figure more than doubled to 58 percent in 2014.
Vietnamese consumers are optimistic and open to new technologies, with 59 percent of those sampled saying hi-tech bring more chances than risks to their lives. One-fourth of the surveyed consumers said they own at least two hi-tech devices (a PC and a smartphone or tablet), while 2 percent said they own all three of the devices.
Thirty-six percent choose to access the Internet with their smartphones, far higher than the 5 percent for tableta. Most people, or 44 percent, still surf the Internet using their PCs.
Eighty-five percent of Vietnamese users watch videos when they are online, of which 78 percent do so using their smartphones. The rate is third highest in the world, behind Saudi Arabia (97 percent), and China (92 percent).
More Vietnamese shoppers are also going online, with 28 percent saying they bought goods on the Internet. This rate is even higher than the 20 percent recorded in Thailand, which is considered Asia’s shopping paradise.
TNS surveyed more than 1,000 Vietnamese people over the age of 16 in the first two quarters of this year for the research. The Global Connected Consumer Study 2014 was conducted in 56 nations and territories around the world, but not in the U.S.